24 January 2010

At home with the girls!

Anna is five days old today, and we're all doing well. Claire has been home with us since Friday, and so far, being mother of two has been a wonderful thing! Of course, there have been a few times when both girls needed me at once, especially at Claire's naptime, when she's used to having my full attention. Anna mostly just sleeps, waking up to eat, fill her diaper, or put up with whatever torture I have in store for her (changing clothes, sponge bath, medicines). She's had a stuffy nose ever since she was born, and a nurse gave me some saline solution for it, so I've been doing that and the bulb syringe--both very tricky since neither instrument will fit into her tiny nostrils, and since they both usually need to be administered several times in the middle of the night. But so far it seems she will sleep anywhere: swaddled in her bassinet at night, in her swing or Boppy during the day, and of course, curled up in an admiring relative's arms. She is doing well nursing about every three hours, often four at night.

Claire is doing well with Anna, but for a lot of the time we've been at home, I've had someone else at home with me to give her attention, too. Every time she wakes up, it seems like it's a delightful surprise to have a Baby Sister again. She comes right over to her and "pets" and nuzzles her. She likes holding her, but usually only for a short time.

I hate to think that on the day after tomorrow I have to leave her to return to class at SE! But it's just one class, so only an hour and a half to two hours, so hopefully it will be okay. Although I am kind of considering wearing her in my sling or Bjorn!

22 January 2010

How Anna made her entrance

So here's how it all went down: I went to my "officially overdue" doctor appointment on Monday to see if I'd made any progress and schedule an induction for sometime this week, as my doc doesn't let his patients go more than a week overdue. I thought it would be best if I could make it to my SE class on Tuesday, and then be induced, so he told me to come in for a cytotec pill on Tuesday afternoon. Sure enough, Tuesday morning around 2 a.m., contractions started waking me up! Luckily, my body didn't go into freakout mode like with Claire and not allow me to sleep. I dozed during the seven to fifteen minute gaps between, and although they never got regular, they were definitely pretty hard. Of course, I was laying down, which is probably the least efficient way to manage pain.

Claire also woke up twice during this time with a fever! So I gave her alternating doses of Motrin and Tylenol to try to bring it down.

In the morning, Jay called Diane to ask her to come over to take Claire to the doctor. As I mentioned in the previous post, Claire had had a gunky eye for a couple days, and now with this fever, we didn't want to take any chances on her getting worse and/or getting baby sister sick. So Diane got there lickety-split, and I took it easy all morning, counting contractions and trying to rest up. After lunch, Jay and I went to the hospital. By the time we got checked in and I got hooked up to everything and finally got checked for progress, I was already at a 5! So the nurses and doc said I didn't need any induction meds; they would just see how I progressed. That was at about 2 p.m. I was really antsy to get up and move around as my contractions got harder, but they were lasting so long that the doc wanted to keep me hooked up to the baby monitor to make sure her heart rate didn't dip too low. So since I had to stay in bed, I went ahead and asked for the epidural, and got it at about 4:30. It was perfect; I could still feel the contractions mildly, and wasn't totally numb in my legs like last time.

For the next few hours, I just visited with the people who were anxiously awaiting Baby Sister and read my book--gotta love the epidural! Claire came up at about 6, and was not too happy to see Mommy lying in bed all hooked up to stuff. She was much happier to play with visitors in the waiting room.

By 7:30, I had gotten to a 10, and it was time to push! Twenty-five minutes later, she was here! It was awesome! My nurse would coach me along through a contraction--three big pushes per--and then I would talk and laugh with Mom and the nurses (Jay was entirely too nervous to say much). That's pretty much all there is to tell! It was a very smooth process; thank you all so much for your prayers for that very thing! We got to go home the next night after Anna had hit the 24-hour mark, thank goodness. I barely slept at all while we were there. I was a little nervous about being comfortable at home without nurses waiting on me, but it was so much nicer sleeping in a quiet house in my own bed. After Jay got over the trauma of the birth, he was an excellent helper at the hospital and at home. :)

Claire just hit the 24-hour mark on her antibiotics, so Diane brought her home today, thank goodness. I'm so glad to have both my girls at home, and now I'm ready to get us into a good two-kid routine!

21 January 2010

Welcome home, Anna! Get well soon, Claire!

We're so happy to be home with a healthy baby girl and healthy mommy! Such huge blessings, it almost feels more like a miracle! We're getting ready to take Anna Jae up to the hospital to retake the jaundice and hearing tests. Not worried about it, but it has to be done.

And Claire is still not home with us, we're sad to say. On Tuesday when I was going into labor, Diane took Claire to her pediatrician for a gunky eye she'd had for a couple days, PLUS she'd been feverish in the night (while I was also starting my contractions!). Turns out, it was conjunctivitis in her eye, a viral infection that is contagious! So she got eyedrops and an antibiotic for the fever, and didn't get to meet Anna Tuesday night, instead going home with Paul and Diane after they came back to the delivery room and met Anna briefly.

Claire's eye was almost totally better Wednesday, when she got to meet Anna (and was absolutely delighted!), and the fever was gone, but then it came back Wednesday afternoon when she was home with Mamaw and Papaw. Diane just started the antibiotic this morning, as we didn't think we needed it on Tuesday or Wednesday. So Claire might not get to come home until tomorrow morning when she's been on her antibiotic for 24 hours.

On the positive side, Anna had a great first night at home. She did need some saline solution in her nose and some tummy drops, but she just woke up to nurse twice (she's a marathon nurser though!), and we both slept until 10:30!! So I feel like I've recovered all the sleep I lost in our noisy hospital room.

Full birth story to come!

14 January 2010

January Birthdays (still waiting on a few!)

I am officially 40wks today, and still no baby sister! However, I haven't given up hope yet! There's still three more hours of due date for me to go into labor! In the meantime, here's some pics of our slew of January birthdays! So far, we've celebrated Amanda's (shopping in Frisco), Baby Izzy's (one-year-old party at Nana and Grandad's), Jay's (dinner at Paul and Diane's, b-day breakfast, and lunch at my mom's), my dad's (dinner at his house), and we still have two more! Baby Sister's of course, and my mom's is January 31! Jay's brother Brian's is also the day after tomorrow! The previous pics are from Isabel's party, which is actually in December, but the party fell on Amanda's birthday, January 3.

Last weekend, Amanda stayed a night with us and accompanied us for a doctor appointment, pedicures, and haircuts for Claire and me! Claire was very still and solemn for both of these first experiences for her. It was a fun girls day! I could show you a picture of me all slouched up in my pedicure chair, but really, who wants to see that?

I subjected 23 students to me and my big belly today, as I made it to my first day of class at SE. I got a burst of shocked laughter when I told them that today was my due date, and several grateful grins when I said that we would probably not be meeting for class very regularly for the next couple weeks. We will still have online work to do, though!

04 January 2010

Christmas 2009!

Still no baby news, so I thought I would go ahead and post our Christmas pics. I just did a video of the Christmas morning at our house, so no pics of that. We had Christmas Eve plans at Dad's house, but moved that to Sunday because of the snowstorm. So Claire and I stayed in, baked about a thousand cookies for Santa, and wrapped presents. Christmas morning we woke up to a couple inches of snow and icy roads, so we did our family Christmas and had breakfast, and then loaded up my car to head to Coleman for Christmas with my brothers, sister, mom and Grant. That was a no-go! At 9:30, our road was a sheet of ice. We turned around and came back to the house, loaded up Jay's 4WD truck, and tried again. Once we got off the side roads and onto the highways, the roads were much better, but it still took us about 45 minutes to make the 30 minute drive to Coleman. No big deal, but I think the fam was pretty hungry for my French toast casserole by the time we got there! So the previous pictures are of Christmas morning at my mom's house (Nana and Grandad's old house). Claire and I stayed in our pajamas all day and we played new video games and board games, went for a walk in the snow, drank hot cocoa, and ate soup. Perfect, relaxing day with family!

I wish we would have thought to get a group picture at every house we went to. That should be a must!

That evening, we went to Paul and Diane's house, even though Jay's brothers couldn't make it down because of the crazy blizzard in Edmond. So we went ahead and exchanged gifts with them and ate some ribs.

Saturday was the big Pannell get-together, and I unfortunately don't have any pictures of that yet, as my old camera doesn't work inside well at all. So I will have to wait until I get copies from Mom and Sister. But that was a big day of family and games. Dirty Santa with 20 some-odd people was interesting as always, with the added hilarity this year of typed and printed handouts of the official rules. We have had arguments in the past within this competitive family that slowed down our game! Uncle Matt kept us all laughing with his constant consulting of the rules for every possible infraction. I ended up with an OU Snuggie and Jay got a car detailing kit, which Mom asked if I would be using. Ha! We'll see how long that thing stays in the box. The Snuggie, as you can see below, has already gotten good use! This is on New Years Eve night, when we watched the DVR'd OU bowl game at home.

Saturday night, we went back to Paul and Diane's straight from Coleman to eat some pancakes and open gifts with Jay's brothers and their families. It's so fun with so many kids, and such a good range, from 2 to 13. No pictures from this either, because again, I hadn't gotten my good camera from Dad yet!

Sunday after church, we went down to Pottboro to have Christmas at Dad's house. Finally, I got my good camera, but it didn't get charged until after my siblings and Grandma had already left! But here are a few pics from his house anyway. We had a fun day playing on Dad's new Wii, playing Nertz (Amanda and I, despite the fact that our team had the most combined experience with the game, finished dead last one game, and next to last the other! I think we've both lost our touch :(, and Jay and Claire even capped off the 40-degree night with a dip in the hot tub!!

After Pottsboro, we drove back to P&D's house, as Kyle and Audrey were still down, to play some golf (cards) and let Claire play. This makes three days in a row that Claire's only nap had been in the car in between Christmas celebrations, poor girl! We also chose this fabulous time to take away her pacis for naptime and bedtime--Santa took them from her stocking to give to other boys and girls who are smaller and need them more! It's still taking a little too long to get her down for naps and bedtimes, but it's getting better bit by bit. One more pic of Sunday night, when the two girls were playing dress-up with Mamaw!

It was a wonderful weekend, and it took about a week to recover from it all! By Thursday afterward, my Christmas stuff was all still up and baby gifts were still piled up in the laundry room in gift sacks! I was totally stressed, but on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Jay and I finally got a bunch of stuff done--gifts sorted, clothes washed, Christmas stuff down, bassinet up, hospital bag packed, name list narrowed. Whew! So now, I just have a couple more baby things to check off my list before I feel ready to relax and wait! Of course, it won't be total relaxation; I still have two story deadlines this week and my SE class starting next Thursday! We'll see when Baby Sister decides to make her appearance in the midst of all that!